Nadia Van Dyne has assumed the mantle of the Wasp and following in her father’s footsteps she’s taking on crime both big and small. Wasp is the second of our size changing heroes for Marvel Champions and her deck comes packed with all manner of events to deal out hits and keep on coming. Let’s take a look at what comes in this hero pack.
Nadia Van Dyne/Wasp
Wasp is another hero with a three sided card. Like Ant-Man before her, she has an Alter Ego side and two Hero sides. This is achieved with a folding card, which shows the Giant hero form on the inside of the fold.
Her Alter Ego is Nadia Van Dyne, daughter of Hank Pym, she has better than average health, starting out at 11 with the average 6 hand size and comfortable recovery of 3. Her Alter Ego power, G.I.R.L allows her to shuffle cards showing the mental resource back into her deck. Outside of using this to mitigate the negative side of a mulligan I haven't used it often, but of course, using it to shuffle copies of Genius back in makes a lot of sense.
In Tiny form Wasp is less than average all round. Her Defence is her trump stat at 2 with Attack and Thwart being only 1. Her hand size is reduced to 5 and her special ability allows her to deal direct damage to the villain every time she (or an event she plays) defeats a minion or a side scheme.
In Giant form all her stats rise by 1 but she keeps her hand size of 5 which is nice. She also gains the ability to split her thwart and attack over multiple targets meaning she never has to overkill minions and can in theory knock tough off multiple enemies in a single turn.
Wasp’s signature cards are mostly focused on events, with 9 of her 15 cards dedicated to events and a further 2 as resources. Giant Help is a Thwart card that gets better when you are in Giant Form, allowing you to remove 4 threat from any cards. Pinpoint Strike is an attack with a Tiny Form kicker, dealing 8 damage and Overkill. Wasp Sting works easily as well in either form, with extra damage in tiny and additional targets in Giant. While Rapid Growth is the only card in Wasp’s signature set which actively encourages size changing.
Rapid Growth is played as a response to using your hero’s innate attack, thwart or defence to flip to giant and boost the stat by 2. This could aid in generating a better defence but mostly I’ve used this card to deal additional damage.
Wasp’s deck also has two copies of Pym Particles, which we saw in the Ant-Man deck, these function as wild resources with a healing or card draw kicker depending on whether you are Tiny or Giant.
Wasp also has 3 upgrade cards. Her helmet would seem to offer the best bang for your buck, adding 1 Attack or 1 Thwart depending on your form. Her wings can be exhausted to block a single damage and only when you're tiny. The Red Room Training gives her Retaliate 1 or Piercing depending on her form. I rarely played either of these, preferring to spend my resources on events or allies. Again Wasp follows the recent trend of having no cards amongst her signature cards that require her to be in Alter Ego.
Lastly Wasp’s Signature ally is Ant-Man (Scott Lang). Scott is nice, 2 Attack or 2 Thwart with a kicker for both depending on your form. He also has 3 hit points so he can stick around for a while, although his 4 cost makes me less likely to play him unless I’m resource rich.
Wasp’s Aggression cards add 2 events, Into the Fray requires a minion to be in play, otherwise it’s a dead card, but deals decent damage and clears threat for overkill. Surprise Attack however, for a single resource, can deal 4 damage when you change form, something I found particularly handy with Wasp.
Lie in Wait adds another preparation to the game, dealing 3 damage to a minion as they engage. I like the preparation cards but found in the Red Skull campaign these were triggering less than I’d like even against Zola.
Boot Camp sounds great, giving all allies under your control +1 attack, but in Wasp’s deck it just never really saw play, however, if running Wasp and Ant-Man in tandem I would definitely play it under Ant-Man’s control.
The two new allies here are pretty costly. Jane Foster costs 4 but can deal 3 damage on entry if you have a spare physical resource to play. Her 4 health makes her a character that can stick around but her 2 attack is rather weedy. Wasp (Janet Van Dyne) mimics Hank Pym in that her health is tied to the resources you use to pay for her, however unlike Hank she requires energy resources to be spent. However her 3 attack makes her pretty handy in a fight.
The Power in All of Us is an intriguing new resource card in this deck, providing 2 wild resources when paying for neutral cards. This would seem to be a must have for expensive allies like Fury, Lockjaw or Warmachine, however Wasp’s most expensive neutral cards are only cost 3 so odd that it shows up here.
Ironheart is one of my favourites in this pack, costing 2 with meagre stats but giving you a card draw in return. She’s cheap, can take a hit, maybe two and can be useful for clearing tough so I can deal bigger damage with my hero.
Miles Morales has an impressive opening salvo, adding 2 to one of his stats on entry. After that he can still be a decent attacker and he’ll stick it out for a round longer than Ironheart.
I’ll be honest, I went into the Wasp pack expecting a very similar play style to Ant-Man but they don’t really have much in common. Unlike Ant-Man who is all about changing size Wasp doesn’t benefit from that in the same way. Ultimately her Giant form is better, with increased stats and the ability to spread her damage out amongst multiple targets, which is great for clearing tough from multiple enemies.
I ran Wasp against the Red Skull campaign (after the obligatory learning game against Rhino) resulting in 9 games and 6 wins. Wasp in her Aggression build is very much a brawler, she can deal with schemes, especially once she has her helmet, but realistically she’s set up to take down bad guys.
However the nice thing about her hero form is that it should work well if paired with a justice deck instead. Both her tiny and giant forms allow her to interact with Thwarting just as well as fighting and with her signature cards in the mix she’d still be able to deliver some decent hits into the bargain.
Unlike Ant-Man, Wasp doesn’t feel strikingly different from other heroes. Most of her cards work in either form, making her size changing a factor in my decisions but not a requirement of play. I also felt, possibly due to selecting harder optional sets, like I was always on the back foot as Wasp. Always just scraping through, a single turn away from defeat.
That is not to say I don’t like Wasp, but I do think if I were going to run her again it would be in a justice build rather than aggression.
While Wasp is a fine hero she didn’t excite me in the same way as Ant-Man did. Her aggression build, which relies heavily on events feels mismatched and with cards that feel out of place and go largely unplayed. However, I do think this is a character that could shine in alternate build, especially against side-quest heavy scenarios.